Each of the four yachts in this roundup is one that most of us will only dream of owning. But what a dream they are! Here are some details to whet your appetite; you'll find full information in our Captain's Reports.
The Hatteras 100 Raised Pilothouse features an optional arrangement that includes a master stateroom on the main deck, replacing the forward galley and informal dining area of the standard layout; they move amidships. This is an attractive plan for the owner who participates in navigating his own yacht. (There are two crew cabins aft, too.) The on-deck master is smaller than the full-beam master stateroom on the lower deck, but large enough and with the views to make any owner or lucky guest happy. Both arrangements have an on-deck head, a formal dining area and spacious lounge seating. The Hatteras 100 has the largest fuel and fresh water tankage of any yacht in her class -- almost twice as much of both fluids. Freshwater capacity simply means you don't have to run the water-maker so often, but the Hatteras's 4,660 gallons of fuel means you can cruise long, long distances at displacement speed: Europe is within range from the East Coast. We haven't tested this yacht yet, but comparing her with others of similar weight (275,000 lbs.) and power (twin 1900-hp CAT C-32s) that we have tested suggests she'll be an excellent long-range cruiser, with a good turn of speed for shorter passages, too.
The Monte Carlo Yachts 105 is the flagship of the Monte Carlo Yachts fleet. Like her smaller MCY sisters, she's built using aerospace-tech materials, including Kevlar and carbon-fiber laminates and high-performance core, to make her strong but keep her as light as possible. (Although the MCY 105 is almost 4' longer and a foot wider than the Hatteras 100, she's 67,000 lb. lighter.) Much of her strength comes from her vacuum-infused, cored fiberglass skin, not from internal structure (although her decks are supported by aluminum beams). This not only saves weight, but provides more opportunity to customize the layout: Since there's less structure to work around, the builder can design almost any arrangement; the standard layouts are just starting points. The MCY 105 is the first Monte Carlo yacht to have a raised pilothouse, which adds living area to the main deck; there's a second helm station on the flying bridge. There's an owner's suite forward on the main deck, and the rest of the space is used for dining and lounging. The lower deck can be set up with another full-beam master stateroom amidships, or side-by-side VIP cabins; both arrangements have two smaller guest cabins and quarters for four crew aft, adjacent to the galley.
The Hargrave 116 Raised Pilothouse is more of a custom yacht than the others in this roundup. Hargrave doesn't start every project with a clean sheet of paper, but with a list of what the client wants. Then they pick one of their standard hulls -- no sense re-inventing the wheel every time -- and fill it with whatever it takes to make the client happy. Exterior and interior styling is custom, as is layout -- at least, in keeping with structural limitations. The first Hargrave 116 Raised Pilothouse, for example, was built for a client who wanted to charter. Hargrave designers drew accommodations for 10 guests in five king-berth suites, one of them a main-deck master; two of the lower-deck staterooms convert to twin berths for flexibility in sleeping arrangements. There are accommodations for 6 crew, arranged to minimize interaction between crew and guests. (Most crew live forward, but the engineer's cabin is abaft the engine room, with direct access to the diesels.) Naiad stabilizers keep everyone free of mal de mer, and Caterpillar C-32 ACERT diesels produce enough speed to make short work of open-water passages. Folks not into chartering their yacht might ask for fewer staterooms and more gathering space -- an entertainment area on the lower deck, for example, with a giant flat-screen and a library of seafaring adventure films. If bluewater cruising is in the plans, maybe Hargrave can extend the raised pilothouse to include a berth for the on-call watch. It's worth asking, anyway.
The Ocean Alexander 120 Megayacht is the biggest yacht in this roundup, has the least powerful engines (1,450-hp MTUs) and carries 7,000 gal. of fuel -- she's just begging for long-range cruising, but is designed with chartering in mind. The yacht has an interesting layout combining traditional and modern practice. There's an owner's suite on the main deck, a feature that's common in yachts this size. It has a centerline berth, several seating areas and, forward of the sleeping cabin, a full-beam toilet compartment, with a bidet, a whirlpool tub and shower. Placing the owner's area here opens space on the lower deck for mirror-image VIP cabins and a pair of twin-berth cabins. The captain's cabin is in the raised pilothouse, but the rest of the crew also lives on the lower deck, forward of the guest cabins. (This is the traditional place for crew, but today many yachts have crew's quarters all the way aft, against the transom.) The trend in fully crewed yachts this size is to place the galley on the same deck as the crew's quarters, but the 120 Megayacht carries her galley on the main deck. It's easier on the cook -- not so much carrying things up and down -- and bulkheads fore and aft insulate the galley, visually and acoustically, from the adjacent guest areas. Access to the crew's quarters is from the galley, minimizing guest-crew interaction. This is especially desirable if the boat's put into charter, when the crew and guests are strangers to each other. The Ocean Alexander 120 Megayacht is built in the U.S., at Christensen Shipyards in Vancouver, Washington.
As always, drop us a note at BoatTEST.com if you have a question about any of the yachts in this week's roundup. We'll do our best to answer your questions.